Over the past several weeks, people and businesses in Inuvik have been subject to a number of power outages, many of which were due to a sensor issue.

From overnight blips to a power outage that delayed the Muskrat Jamboree’s talent show, residents may have noticed the lights going out quite often. According to Northwest Territorial Power Corporation executive assistant Colleen Davie said the company had tracked seven outages between April 4 to 12.

”One outage was a result of an automatic safety shutdown procedure that occurred during LNG offloading,” she said. “NTPC has reviewed the offloading procedures with the transportation company. The other recent outages resulted from faulty sensors in our gas plant. Operations are currently on site investigating the sensor concerns at the gas plant.

“There have been 6 outages between April 4 – 12 related to the sensors. The outage on April 7 was in relation to the LNG being offloaded.”

A notice April 12 from the company warned there could have been more outages, though the work was completed without any further issues.

“Planned intermittent power outages” were anticipated between April 13 and 15 as “critical work is done at the local plant” said the notice, adding any concerns could be directed to NTPC at 1-800-661-0855. The notice noted the work may not result in a power outage, but any outages that could have occurred would have been “very brief”, lasting only a few minutes.

“NTPC appreciates your co-operation and wishes to apologize in advance for any inconvenience that these possible outages might cause,” reads the unattributed notice. “Planned maintenance and power outages are often dependent on weather conditions and other circumstances beyond our control.

“Please follow us on Facebook (NTPC – Northwest Territories Power Corporation) for the most up-t0-date-information.”

The NTPC Inuvik plant has had a rough year. In March, two diesel fuel spills combined for 6,800 litres of environmental damage. One of the spills was linked to human error and the other was linked to equipment failure.

Cold temperatures and utilities buried in frozen soil are slowing the clean-up down, as well as a lack of proper equipment. Berms are being constructed to keep any remaining fuel from moving into the water and absorbents will be deployed as the snow begins to melt. There is currently no evidence any of the spilled fuel left the NTPC plant site.

Eric Bowling

Your source for all things happening in the Beaufort Delta. Eric jumped at the chance to write for the Inuvik Drum after cutting his teeth in Alberta. He enjoys long walks, loud music and strong coffee....

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